The Night of Spam

I am surprised by the level of spam that received last night. I usually get one or two spam messages per week that I have to moderate. It was for this reason a long time ago that I now moderate all messages that appear on my blog.

Last night, I received over 30 non-automatically caught spam messages. Luckily, they were in my moderation queue, so I simply checked a box next to each one and marked them all as spam. However, it is interesting that they all seem to be doing some kind of sales for Lucas’ latest Star Wars DVD release and related Lego sets. Perhaps I have just unwittingly advertised for them, or perhaps not, each post had a suspicious link to who knows what computer horrors.

Instead of trying to censor the Internet for Americans, I think it would be nice if our elected officials spent some time expanding the do-not-call registry to also include email addresses and websites. This would be legislation that I could get behind.

New Book Announcement, The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies From the Dark Side of Digital Culture


I saw the following announcement come across the litsci-l email list this morning. It looks like a fantastic collection about the some of the more annoying things to be found online today. If you study online culture and online technologies, then this might be worth checking out. See the link in the announcement for more information.


On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies From the Dark Side of Digital Culture

edited by Jussi Parikka and Tony D. Sampson

With Foreword by Sadie Plant

Hampton Press, 2009

For those of us increasingly reliant on email networks in our everyday social interactions, spam can be a pain; it can annoy; it can deceive; it can overload. Yet spam can also entertain and perplex us. This book is an aberration into the dark side of network culture. Instead of regurgitating stories of technological progress or over celebrating creative social media on the Internet, it filters contemporary culture through its anomalies. The book features theorists writing on spam, porn, censorship, and viruses. The evil side of media theory is exposed to theoretical interventions and innovative case studies that touch base with new media and Internet studies and the sociology of new network culture, as well as post-representational cultural analysis.

“Parikka and Sampson present the latest insights from the humanities into software

studies. This compendium is for all you digital Freudians. Electronic deviances

no longer originate in Californian cyber fringes but are hardwired into planetary normalcy.

Bugs breed inside our mobile devices. The virtual mainstream turns out to

be rotten. The Spam book is for anyone interested in new media theory.”

—Geert Lovink, Dutch/Australian media theorist

“What if all those things we most hate about the Internet—the spam, the viruses,

the phishing sites, the flame wars, the latency and lag and interruptions of service,

and the glitches that crash our computers—what if all these are not bugs, but features?

What if they constitute, in fact, the way the system functions? The Spam

Book explores this disquieting possibility.”

—Steven Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University

Foreword, Sadie Plant.
On Anomalous Objects of Digital Culture: An Introduction, Jussi Parikka and Tony D. Sampson.
Mutant and Viral: Artificial Evolution and Software Ecology, John Johnston.
How Networks Become Viral: Three
Questions Concerning Universal Contagion, Tony D. Sampson.
Extensive Abstraction in Digital Architecture, Luciana Parisi.
Unpredictable Legacies: Viral Games in the Networked World, Roberta Buiani.
Archives of Software—Malicious Codes and the Aesthesis of Media Accidents, Jussi Parikka.
Contagious Noise: From Digital Glitches to Audio Viruses, Steve Goodman.
Toward an Evil Media Studies, Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey.
Irregular Fantasies, Anomalous Uses: Pornography Spam as Boundary Work, Susanna Paasonen.
Make Porn, Not War: How to Wear the Network’s Underpants, Katrien
Can Desire Go On Without a Body?: Pornographic Exchange as Orbital Anomaly, Dougal Phillips.
Robots.txt: The Politics of Search Engine Exclusion, Greg Elmer.
The Internet Treats Censorship as a Malfunction and Routes Around It?: A New Media
Approach to the Study of State Internet Censorship, Richard Rogers.
On Narcolepsy, Alexander R. Galloway and Eugene Thacker.

Orders from Hampton Press:

as well as bookstores and online sellers.

Launch event:

Goldsmiths College, London:

Friday, September 25th, 6-8pm (prompt)

Room 3/4

Ben Pimlott Building,  (silver building with squiggle) Goldsmiths, Lewisham Way New Cross

Contributors to the book will make short interventions based on their texts:

Matthew Fuller

Andrew Goffey

Steve Goodman

Jussi Parikka

Luciana Parisi

Sadie Plant

Tony Sampson


Dr Jussi Parikka is Reader in Media Theory and History at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge. He has a PhD in Cultural History from University of Turku, Finland and is now the co-director of the Anglia Research Centre in Digital Culture. He is the author of Digital Contagions – A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses (2007). More info: ,, mobile: + 44 (0)7846 476 425.

Dr Tony D. Sampson is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in New Media at The University of East London. He has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Essex. More info:,